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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    707

    How do you assess a Skill Level?

    Let's say you are about to play someone you've never played before in a local Tournament
    and you have no idea what their skill level is, how to you evaluate it?

    1. Pay Attention to details ...

    (a) If your Opponent gets to serve first, take note of where they tend to direct most of their servers.
    (b) Are they comfortable in mixing them up keeping you guessing

    (c) Do they do a good job at disguising where the serve is going to go?

    (d) Do the serves come in with kick, power, slice?

    2. If you serve first what do you look for?

    (a) How comfortable are they with servers to the backhand side?

    (b) How quick are they at getting to a [down the tee] serve?

    (c) What do they do with the return, do they just get the ball back in play or do they try to place you on defense from the start?

    3. Continuing with the serve ...

    (a) How does your Opponent handle your 2nd Serve, do they try to tee off on them or again just get it back in play?

    4. Within a baseline rallies ...

    (a) take note on their side to side - up & back movements.

    (b) Are they quick to get to a drop shot and subsequent overhead?

    (c) Does your Opponent seem to try everything to get to the Net?

    Within the first few games, you should be able to tell what type of match you are about to have. It doesn't take long to figure out where their strengths & weaknesses are. Many Recreational Players have a strict mindset that works for them and they don't generally deviate from that. Are they a Chip & Charge type Player that wants to attach you from the Net or do they like staying back and hitting baseline rallies?

    For the Players that tend to hang at the baseline, are you looking at mostly forehand shots from them or do they mix it up nicely attempting to feed you both forehand & backhand shots?

    Another important sign to look for is whether your Opponent is comfortable setting up the point or do they try to put the point away from the first couple of shots?

    Remember most recreational Players aren't capable of long extended baseline rallies. Thats for the Pros, who work the point until they get the opening they're looking for. With Public Park Players (Club Players) having the ball cross the net more than five times is not the norm. It's important to watch which side breaks down more often.

    Take a few games to size up your Opponent and construct your Game Plan from that assessment.


    Have fun and don't forget to pay attention



    .
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

  2. #2
    I am no expert in tennis, but I try to teach my son to focus on his game and not his opponent's game. I believe if a player pays too much attention to his opponents then he is thinking too much about winning or losing, more harm than good.

  3. #3
    In a similar vein, I wonder if someone could explain the rating number system for me?

    Where I play I have only come accross:
    Beginner
    Improver
    Intermediate
    Advanced
    County player
    Professional

    How do the numbers relate to those and what is the highest number (say for Federer of Nadal)?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    1,109
    Quote Originally Posted by rchen83 View Post
    I am no expert in tennis, but I try to teach my son to focus on his game and not his opponent's game. I believe if a player pays too much attention to his opponents then he is thinking too much about winning or losing, more harm than good.
    But to master both would be invincible. that is to play the ball the best you can to his/her weakness.

    Quote Originally Posted by mal-j View Post
    In a similar vein, I wonder if someone could explain the rating number system for me?

    Where I play I have only come accross:
    Beginner
    Improver
    Intermediate
    Advanced
    County player
    Professional

    How do the numbers relate to those and what is the highest number (say for Federer of Nadal)?
    check this out mal: http://gustavus.edu/events/athletics...NGPROGRAM.html

    now that is according to the USTA. that is how all us Americans rate ourselves. Nadal and Federer would be off the scale or a 7.0 When rating a woman, the ranks kind of compensate. In other words, a good match up between a woman and man would be a 4.0 man vs. a 5.0 woman. moreover, someone like Serena Williams or Kim Clijsters would be a 7.0 in the women ranks.

  5. #5
    Thanks for that Lawn Tennis. Looking at that list I would guess that I am about a 4. If I could get to a 5 and never got any higher than that I would still be more than happy.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    1,109
    Quote Originally Posted by mal-j View Post
    Thanks for that Lawn Tennis. Looking at that list I would guess that I am about a 4. If I could get to a 5 and never got any higher than that I would still be more than happy.
    no problem. that's not bad at all. as a 4.0, you are in the top 10% of tennis players. most players struggle to pass the 3.5 level. when you do reach a 5.0 level, don't give up or be content there. if you're gonna do it, persevere. naturally fun will follow.

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